Guidelines Set for Insurance Exchange “Navigators”

Credit CMS / special to WABE

Georgians soon will be able to purchase health insurance through the federal government’s health insurance marketplace, also called an insurance exchange.

That’s a website where people can compare policies, purchase a plan, and find out if they’re eligible for a subsidy.

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Now, the federal government has finalized guidelines for insurance “navigators.” They’re the people who will help walk consumers through the process.

Since Georgia opted not to set up its own exchange, the federal government is responsible for writing the navigator’s job description. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says navigators must provide “accurate and impartial assistance” to those shopping for new coverage.  They’ll also guide eligible people toward Medicaid and CHIP—the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

To do that, navigators must know how to work with people who aren’t familiar with health insurance, speak limited English, or live with a disability.

Grants to hire and pay Navigators will be awarded August 15.

Although enrollment in the exchange begins Oct. 1st, coverage won’t take effect until Jan. 1st. 

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